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Stroo H.F.,Sunset Inc. | Leeson A.,Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program | Marqusee J.A.,Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program | Johnson P.C.,Arizona State University | And 7 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2012

The past decade has seen rapid progress in source zone remediation, and an increasing understanding of the capabilities and limitations of potential technologies. Research has produced a large database from well-monitored demonstrations, more effective models to improve decision-making, and a better understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological constraints to achieving complete restoration. This experience has led to technology selection guidance to help managers develop reasonable expectations for treatment.133 It also has led to several publications from researchers funded through SERDP and ESTCP on source zone treatment (including technology-specific cost and performance reports), available at http://www.serdp-estcp.org/Featured-Initiatives/Cleanup- Initiatives/DNAPL-Source-Zones. Experience also has shown that different technologies are needed for different times and locations, and that deliberately combining technologies may improve overall remedy performance. Guidance on adaptive management and integrated strategies for DNAPL sites has been developed to help practitioners select the best combinations and develop realistic objectives. 52,134 Such guidance should improve source treatment and save money, through more cost-efficient characterization and monitoring, more efficient and appropriate uses of remedial technologies, and greater consensus on source treatment decisions. Challenges remain, however, particularly at complex sites that are difficult to characterize and where prolonged treatment and/or multiple technologies have failed to achieve remedial goals. Many DNAPL sites still cannot be restored to regulatory criteria within a few years or within a "reasonable time frame" (often considered roughly 30 years), and therefore will require long-term management.


News Article | November 14, 2016
Site: phys.org

Colorado State University environmental engineers are testing a promising new way to clean up PFCs, supported by the Department of Defense's Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program. Jens Blotevogel, research assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and co-director of the Center for Contaminant Hydrology, has received a three-year, $578,000 grant to tackle this ubiquitous problem. Blotevogel's team will test an electrolysis-based technology for treating groundwater tainted with PFCs. The method harnesses electricity-induced chemical reactions in the groundwater to transform the organic compounds, and other contaminants that may be present, into carbon dioxide, fluoride and other benign substances. "Perfluorinated compounds are challenging on every level ­- how you detect them, how you work with them in the lab, how they accumulate in our bodies and exert their toxicity, and how you break them down, if you can at all," Blotevogel said. "You can hardly go anywhere on this planet without being exposed to PFCs." The project team includes Tom Sale, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering who co-pioneered the electrolysis method, and UCLA researcher Shaily Mahendra. Remediation methods for PFCs in groundwater are sorely lacking, Blotevogel said. Traditional strategies like membrane filtration or carbon sorption can be effective, but they're not really solving the problem - just moving the contaminants to another location. Why are PFCs so hard to get rid of? A quick chemistry lesson: Perfluorinated compounds are molecules that contain chains of carbon and fluorine atoms. The carbon-fluorine covalent bond is among the strongest in nature, which is why these molecules live on for decades in soil, water and air. The longer the carbon chain on the molecule, the more resistant the molecule is to biodegradation. Longer-chain PFC molecules called "C8" compounds - eight carbon atoms - such as PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctanesulfonic acid), have been banned or phased out of manufacturing. In this sense, PFCs are victims of their own success. Their chemical stability and surfactant properties make them ideally suited for firefighting, for example, in what the industry calls aqueous film-forming foams. The slippery, foamy substance is the same material in a kitchen fire extinguisher, and used in large quantities in firefighter training and the oil industry. Over many decades, pollution from these foams have found their way into groundwater. Also in recent months, groundwater in and around Colorado Springs was found to have high levels of PFCs, raising alarm bells among public health officials. While effects of high exposure to PFCs in humans isn't completely understood, animal studies have shown PFCs can disrupt hormone balances, reduce immune function and cause developmental problems. The only true remediation of PFCs would come in a complete chemical change that breaks the strong molecular bonds. Blotevogel's team is testing a technology that his collaborators have developed over the last several years, called electrolytic barriers. The team will use laboratory reactors to test novel tin oxide-based mesh barriers that look like window screens flanked by solar-powered, direct-current-inducing electrodes. The mesh barriers are inserted into flowing groundwater, and as the water naturally flows through the charged barriers, contaminants are broken into their harmless constituent parts. "This is a green technology," Blotevogel said. "You basically walk away and wait for the contaminants to be transported through the mesh." The barriers should also be able to treat other persistent contaminants such as 1,4-dioxane, which are often found alongside PFCs. Sale and colleagues previously field-tested this technology on other chemicals. For this project, the team will also tap the expertise of CSU materials scientist Jamie Neilson, assistant professor of chemistry, who will help Blotevogel's team increase the reliability and durability of the mesh for field applications. In later phases of the project, they will test the barriers in conjunction with bacterial and fungal colonies that have been found to neutralize dioxane contamination, pioneered by Mahendra's lab at UCLA. The researchers expect that the electrochemistry and the bacterial and fungal methods, taken together, will effectively treat PFC-contaminated groundwater. Such a result could lead to game-changing technologies for environmental cleanup. "If our method can break down PFCs, it can break down anything," Blotevogel said. Other researchers around the state have been awarded SERDP funding to research PFC cleanup, including Christopher Higgins at Colorado School of Mines, who studies environmental transport of PFCs and other chemicals. Explore further: Outdoor wear often coated in harmful chemicals: Greenpeace


News Article | November 14, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

FORT COLLINS, COLORADO - They're in stain-resistant carpet, paint, permanent markers, food packaging and firefighting foam. Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), a broad class of manufactured chemicals, touch every corner of the industrialized world. They're impervious to traditional remediation strategies, and when they're ingested in large quantities, like in contaminated drinking water, they may be dangerous to human health. Colorado State University environmental engineers are testing a promising new way to clean up PFCs, supported by the Department of Defense's Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program. Jens Blotevogel, research assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and co-director of the Center for Contaminant Hydrology, has received a three-year, $578,000 grant to tackle this ubiquitous problem. Blotevogel's team will test an electrolysis-based technology for treating groundwater tainted with PFCs. The method harnesses electricity-induced chemical reactions in the groundwater to transform the organic compounds, and other contaminants that may be present, into carbon dioxide, fluoride and other benign substances. "Perfluorinated compounds are challenging on every level ­- how you detect them, how you work with them in the lab, how they accumulate in our bodies and exert their toxicity, and how you break them down, if you can at all," Blotevogel said. "You can hardly go anywhere on this planet without being exposed to PFCs." The project team includes Tom Sale, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering who co-pioneered the electrolysis method, and UCLA researcher Shaily Mahendra. Remediation methods for PFCs in groundwater are sorely lacking, Blotevogel said. Traditional strategies like membrane filtration or carbon sorption can be effective, but they're not really solving the problem - just moving the contaminants to another location. Why are PFCs so hard to get rid of? A quick chemistry lesson: Perfluorinated compounds are molecules that contain chains of carbon and fluorine atoms. The carbon-fluorine covalent bond is among the strongest in nature, which is why these molecules live on for decades in soil, water and air. The longer the carbon chain on the molecule, the more resistant the molecule is to biodegradation. Longer-chain PFC molecules called "C8" compounds - eight carbon atoms - such as PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctanesulfonic acid), have been banned or phased out of manufacturing. In this sense, PFCs are victims of their own success. Their chemical stability and surfactant properties make them ideally suited for firefighting, for example, in what the industry calls aqueous film-forming foams. The slippery, foamy substance is the same material in a kitchen fire extinguisher, and used in large quantities in firefighter training and the oil industry. Over many decades, pollution from these foams have found their way into groundwater. Also in recent months, groundwater in and around Colorado Springs was found to have high levels of PFCs, raising alarm bells among public health officials. While effects of high exposure to PFCs in humans isn't completely understood, animal studies have shown PFCs can disrupt hormone balances, reduce immune function and cause developmental problems. The only true remediation of PFCs would come in a complete chemical change that breaks the strong molecular bonds. Blotevogel's team is testing a technology that his collaborators have developed over the last several years, called electrolytic barriers. The team will use laboratory reactors to test novel tin oxide-based mesh barriers that look like window screens flanked by solar-powered, direct-current-inducing electrodes. The mesh barriers are inserted into flowing groundwater, and as the water naturally flows through the charged barriers, contaminants are broken into their harmless constituent parts. "This is a green technology," Blotevogel said. "You basically walk away and wait for the contaminants to be transported through the mesh." The barriers should also be able to treat other persistent contaminants such as 1,4-dioxane, which are often found alongside PFCs. Sale and colleagues previously field-tested this technology on other chemicals. For this project, the team will also tap the expertise of CSU materials scientist Jamie Neilson, assistant professor of chemistry, who will help Blotevogel's team increase the reliability and durability of the mesh for field applications. In later phases of the project, they will test the barriers in conjunction with bacterial and fungal colonies that have been found to neutralize dioxane contamination, pioneered by Mahendra's lab at UCLA. The researchers expect that the electrochemistry and the bacterial and fungal methods, taken together, will effectively treat PFC-contaminated groundwater. Such a result could lead to game-changing technologies for environmental cleanup. "If our method can break down PFCs, it can break down anything," Blotevogel said. Other researchers around the state have been awarded SERDP funding to research PFC cleanup, including Christopher Higgins at Colorado School of Mines, who studies environmental transport of PFCs and other chemicals.


News Article | November 24, 2015
Site: www.biosciencetechnology.com

A team of researchers from the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA has found a new way to use enzymes to remove pollutants from water that is cost- and energy-efficient, able to remove multiple pollutants at once, and minimizes risks to public health and the environment. The advance could be an important new step in the effort to satisfy the world’s need for clean water for drinking, irrigation and recreational use. Current methods require multiple steps and involve chemicals that react to heat, sunlight or electricity. Scientists previously had shown that polluted water could be cleaned using enzymatic activities of naturally occurring bacteria and fungi, which breaks down pollutants into their harmless chemical components. But that method carries the risk of releasing dangerous organisms into the water. The new UCLA technique, developed by a team led by Shaily Mahendra, a UCLA associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Leonard Rome, a professor of biological chemistry and associate director of CNSI, is a variation of that method. The researchers put enzymes into nanoscale particles called “vaults,” then deposit the tiny particles into polluted water. Their method is described in an article published in ACS Nano. Mahendra said microbial processes in water that are part of the natural system of biodegradation would eventually break down pollution in our water, but only over a very long period. “Natural microbes are why the world isn’t still covered with dinosaur droppings,” Mahendra said. “But we don’t have the time or room on our planet to ignore contaminated lakes and rivers for a couple of million years while nature does the work.” Nanoscale vaults are tiny particles — just billionths of a meter across — that are shaped like beer kegs. Mahendra said the new method is effective because the vaults protect the enzymes, keeping them intact and potent when placed in the contaminated water. The scientists tested the method using an enzyme called manganese peroxidase. They found that over a 24-hour period the vaults removed three times as much phenol from the water as the enzyme did when it was dropped into the water without using vaults. They also discovered that because the manganese peroxidase remained stable inside of the vaults, it was still able to remove phenol from the water after 48 hours. Free manganese peroxide was completely inactive after 7 1/2 hours. Vault nanoparticles, which are constructed of proteins and are present in the cells of nearly all living things, were discovered by Rome and Nancy Kedersha, his then-postdoctoral student, in the 1980s. Each human cell contains thousands of vaults, which themselves contain other proteins. But Rome and his colleagues eventually devised a method for building empty vaults that could be used to deliver drugs to specific cells the body to fight cancer, HIV and other diseases. The research contributes to the goals of UCLA’s Sustainable L.A. Grand Challenge, a campuswide initiative to transition the Los Angeles region to 100 percent renewable energy, local water and enhanced ecosystem health by 2050. Mahendra is also helping develop the work plan for Sustainable L.A. Mahendra said the new technique could be scaled up within a few years for commercial use in polluted lakes and rivers, and vaults could be added to membrane filtration units and easily incorporated into existing water treatment systems. Vaults containing several different biodegrading enzymes could potentially remove several contaminants at once from the same water source. They would be unlikely to pose risks to humans or the environment, Rome said, because vaults grow in the cells of so many species. The vaults containing manganese peroxidase used for the new study were built by a team led by Valerie Kickhoefer, an associate researcher working with Rome. Also contributing to the study were first author Meng Wang, a graduate student in Mahendra’s lab, and UCLA staff research associate Danny Abad. Electron microscopy for the study was conducted in CNSI’s Electron Imaging Center for Nanomachines. The research was supported by the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (award ER-2422) and the UCLA department of civil and environmental engineering.


News Article | November 24, 2015
Site: phys.org

The advance could be an important new step in the effort to satisfy the world's need for clean water for drinking, irrigation and recreational use. Current methods require multiple steps and involve chemicals that react to heat, sunlight or electricity. Scientists previously had shown that polluted water could be cleaned using enzymatic activities of naturally occurring bacteria and fungi, which breaks down pollutants into their harmless chemical components. But that method carries the risk of releasing dangerous organisms into the water. The new UCLA technique, developed by a team led by Shaily Mahendra, a UCLA associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Leonard Rome, a professor of biological chemistry and associate director of CNSI, is a variation of that method. The researchers put enzymes into nanoscale particles called "vaults," then deposit the tiny particles into polluted water. Their method is described in an article published in ACS Nano. Mahendra said microbial processes in water that are part of the natural system of biodegradation would eventually break down pollution in our water, but only over a very long period. "Natural microbes are why the world isn't still covered with dinosaur droppings," Mahendra said. "But we don't have the time or room on our planet to ignore contaminated lakes and rivers for a couple of million years while nature does the work." Nanoscale vaults are tiny particles—just billionths of a meter across—that are shaped like beer kegs. Mahendra said the new method is effective because the vaults protect the enzymes, keeping them intact and potent when placed in the contaminated water. The scientists tested the method using an enzyme called manganese peroxidase. They found that over a 24-hour period the vaults removed three times as much phenol from the water as the enzyme did when it was dropped into the water without using vaults. They also discovered that because the manganese peroxidase remained stable inside of the vaults, it was still able to remove phenol from the water after 48 hours. Free manganese peroxide was completely inactive after 7 1/2 hours. Vault nanoparticles, which are constructed of proteins and are present in the cells of nearly all living things, were discovered by Rome and Nancy Kedersha, his then-postdoctoral student, in the 1980s. Each human cell contains thousands of vaults, which themselves contain other proteins. But Rome and his colleagues eventually devised a method for building empty vaults that could be used to deliver drugs to specific cells the body to fight cancer, HIV and other diseases. The research contributes to the goals of UCLA's Sustainable L.A. Grand Challenge, a campuswide initiative to transition the Los Angeles region to 100 percent renewable energy, local water and enhanced ecosystem health by 2050. Mahendra is also helping develop the work plan for Sustainable L.A. Mahendra said the new technique could be scaled up within a few years for commercial use in polluted lakes and rivers, and vaults could be added to membrane filtration units and easily incorporated into existing water treatment systems. Vaults containing several different biodegrading enzymes could potentially remove several contaminants at once from the same water source. They would be unlikely to pose risks to humans or the environment, Rome said, because vaults grow in the cells of so many species. The vaults containing manganese peroxidase used for the new study were built by a team led by Valerie Kickhoefer, an associate researcher working with Rome. Also contributing to the study were first author Meng Wang, a graduate student in Mahendra's lab, and UCLA staff research associate Danny Abad. Electron microscopy for the study was conducted in CNSI's Electron Imaging Center for Nanomachines. The research was supported by the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (award ER-2422) and the UCLA department of civil and environmental engineering. Explore further: Researchers design unique method to induce immunity to certain STDs More information: Meng Wang et al. Vault Nanoparticles Packaged with Enzymes as an Efficient Pollutant Biodegradation Technology, ACS Nano (2015). DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.5b04073


News Article | November 24, 2015
Site: www.cemag.us

A team of researchers from the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA has found a new way to use enzymes to remove pollutants from water that is cost- and energy-efficient, able to remove multiple pollutants at once, and minimizes risks to public health and the environment. The advance could be an important new step in the effort to satisfy the world’s need for clean water for drinking, irrigation and recreational use. Current methods require multiple steps and involve chemicals that react to heat, sunlight, or electricity. Scientists previously had shown that polluted water could be cleaned using enzymatic activities of naturally occurring bacteria and fungi, which breaks down pollutants into their harmless chemical components. But that method carries the risk of releasing dangerous organisms into the water. The new UCLA technique, developed by a team led by Shaily Mahendra, a UCLA associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Leonard Rome, a professor of biological chemistry and associate director of CNSI, is a variation of that method. The researchers put enzymes into nanoscale particles called “vaults,” then deposit the tiny particles into polluted water. Their method is described in an article published in ACS Nano. Mahendra says microbial processes in water that are part of the natural system of biodegradation would eventually break down pollution in our water, but only over a very long period. “Natural microbes are why the world isn’t still covered with dinosaur droppings,” Mahendra says. “But we don’t have the time or room on our planet to ignore contaminated lakes and rivers for a couple of million years while nature does the work.” Nanoscale vaults are tiny particles — just billionths of a meter across — that are shaped like beer kegs. Mahendra says the new method is effective because the vaults protect the enzymes, keeping them intact and potent when placed in the contaminated water. The scientists tested the method using an enzyme called manganese peroxidase. They found that over a 24-hour period the vaults removed three times as much phenol from the water as the enzyme did when it was dropped into the water without using vaults. They also discovered that because the manganese peroxidase remained stable inside of the vaults, it was still able to remove phenol from the water after 48 hours. Free manganese peroxide was completely inactive after 7 1/2 hours. Vault nanoparticles, which are constructed of proteins and are present in the cells of nearly all living things, were discovered by Rome and Nancy Kedersha, his then-postdoctoral student, in the 1980s. Each human cell contains thousands of vaults, which themselves contain other proteins. But Rome and his colleagues eventually devised a method for building empty vaults that could be used to deliver drugs to specific cells the body to fight cancer, HIV and other diseases. The research contributes to the goals of UCLA’s Sustainable L.A. Grand Challenge, a campuswide initiative to transition the Los Angeles region to 100 percent renewable energy, local water and enhanced ecosystem health by 2050. Mahendra is also helping develop the work plan for Sustainable L.A. Mahendra says the new technique could be scaled up within a few years for commercial use in polluted lakes and rivers, and vaults could be added to membrane filtration units and easily incorporated into existing water treatment systems. Vaults containing several different biodegrading enzymes could potentially remove several contaminants at once from the same water source. They would be unlikely to pose risks to humans or the environment, Rome says, because vaults grow in the cells of so many species. The vaults containing manganese peroxidase used for the new study were built by a team led by Valerie Kickhoefer, an associate researcher working with Rome. Also contributing to the study were first author Meng Wang, a graduate student in Mahendra’s lab, and UCLA staff research associate Danny Abad. Electron microscopy for the study was conducted in CNSI’s Electron Imaging Center for Nanomachines. The research was supported by the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (award ER-2422) and the UCLA department of civil and environmental engineering. Release Date: November 23, 2015 Source: UCLA


News Article | November 23, 2015
Site: www.nanotech-now.com

Home > Press > UCLA nanoscientists develop safer, faster way to remove pollutants from water Abstract: A team of researchers from the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA has found a new way to use enzymes to remove pollutants from water that is cost- and energy-efficient, able to remove multiple pollutants at once, and minimizes risks to public health and the environment. The advance could be an important new step in the effort to satisfy the world’s need for clean water for drinking, irrigation and recreational use. Current methods require multiple steps and involve chemicals that react to heat, sunlight or electricity. Scientists previously had shown that polluted water could be cleaned using enzymatic activities of naturally occurring bacteria and fungi, which breaks down pollutants into their harmless chemical components. But that method carries the risk of releasing dangerous organisms into the water. The new UCLA technique, developed by a team led by Shaily Mahendra, a UCLA associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Leonard Rome, a professor of biological chemistry and associate director of CNSI, is a variation of that method. The researchers put enzymes into nanoscale particles called “vaults,” then deposit the tiny particles into polluted water. Their method is described in an article published in ACS Nano. Mahendra said microbial processes in water that are part of the natural system of biodegradation would eventually break down pollution in our water, but only over a very long period. “Natural microbes are why the world isn’t still covered with dinosaur droppings,” Mahendra said. “But we don’t have the time or room on our planet to ignore contaminated lakes and rivers for a couple of million years while nature does the work.” Nanoscale vaults are tiny particles — just billionths of a meter across — that are shaped like beer kegs. Mahendra said the new method is effective because the vaults protect the enzymes, keeping them intact and potent when placed in the contaminated water. The scientists tested the method using an enzyme called manganese peroxidase. They found that over a 24-hour period the vaults removed three times as much phenol from the water as the enzyme did when it was dropped into the water without using vaults. They also discovered that because the manganese peroxidase remained stable inside of the vaults, it was still able to remove phenol from the water after 48 hours. Free manganese peroxide was completely inactive after 7 1/2 hours. Vault nanoparticles, which are constructed of proteins and are present in the cells of nearly all living things, were discovered by Rome and Nancy Kedersha, his then-postdoctoral student, in the 1980s. Each human cell contains thousands of vaults, which themselves contain other proteins. But Rome and his colleagues eventually devised a method for building empty vaults that could be used to deliver drugs to specific cells the body to fight cancer, HIV and other diseases. The research contributes to the goals of UCLA’s Sustainable L.A. Grand Challenge, a campuswide initiative to transition the Los Angeles region to 100 percent renewable energy, local water and enhanced ecosystem health by 2050. Mahendra is also helping develop the work plan for Sustainable L.A. Mahendra said the new technique could be scaled up within a few years for commercial use in polluted lakes and rivers, and vaults could be added to membrane filtration units and easily incorporated into existing water treatment systems. Vaults containing several different biodegrading enzymes could potentially remove several contaminants at once from the same water source. They would be unlikely to pose risks to humans or the environment, Rome said, because vaults grow in the cells of so many species. The vaults containing manganese peroxidase used for the new study were built by a team led by Valerie Kickhoefer, an associate researcher working with Rome. Also contributing to the study were first author Meng Wang, a graduate student in Mahendra’s lab, and UCLA staff research associate Danny Abad. Electron microscopy for the study was conducted in CNSI’s Electron Imaging Center for Nanomachines. The research was supported by the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (award ER-2422) and the UCLA department of civil and environmental engineering. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.


Weaver C.P.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Lempert R.J.,The RAND Corporation | Brown C.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Hall J.A.,Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program | And 2 more authors.
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change | Year: 2013

In this paper, we review the need for, use of, and demands on climate modeling to support so-called 'robust' decision frameworks, in the context of improving the contribution of climate information to effective decision making. Such frameworks seek to identify policy vulnerabilities under deep uncertainty about the future and propose strategies for minimizing regret in the event of broken assumptions. We argue that currently there is a severe underutilization of climate models as tools for supporting decision making, and that this is slowing progress in developing informed adaptation and mitigation responses to climate change. This underutilization stems from two root causes, about which there is a growing body of literature: one, a widespread, but limiting, conception that the usefulness of climate models in planning begins and ends with regional-scale predictions of multidecadal climate change; two, the general failure so far to incorporate learning from the decision and social sciences into climate-related decision support in key sectors. We further argue that addressing these root causes will require expanding the conception of climate models; not simply as prediction machines within 'predict-then-act' decision frameworks, but as scenario generators, sources of insight into complex system behavior, and aids to critical thinking within robust decision frameworks. Such a shift, however, would have implications for how users perceive and use information from climate models and, ultimately, the types of information they will demand from these models-and thus for the types of simulations and numerical experiments that will have the most value for informing decision making. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Goble D.D.,The College of Idaho | Wiens J.A.,Point Reyes Bird Observatory Conservation Science | Wiens J.A.,University of Western Australia | Scott J.M.,University of Idaho | And 2 more authors.
BioScience | Year: 2012

A species is conservation reliant when the threats that it faces cannot be eliminated, but only managed. There are two forms of conservation reliance: population- and threat-management reliance. We provide an overview of the concept and introduce a series of articles that examine it in the context of a range of taxa, threats, and habitats. If sufficient assurances can be provided that successful population and threat management will continue, conservation-reliant species may be either delisted or kept off the endangered species list. This may be advantageous because unlisted species provide more opportunities for a broader spectrum of federal, state, tribal, and private interests to participate in conservation. Even for currently listed species, the number of conservation-reliant species-84% of endangered and threatened species with recovery plans- and the magnitude of management actions needed to sustain the species at recovered levels raise questions about society's willingness to support necessary action. © 2012 by American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved.


Hall J.A.,Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program | Fleishman E.,National Center for Ecological Analysis And Synthesis
Conservation Biology | Year: 2010

To be relevant to societal interests and needs, conservation science must explicitly lend itself to solving real-world problems. Failure to evaluate under field conditions how a new technology or method performs or the cost of its implementation can prevent its acceptance by end users. Demonstration, defined here as the translation of scientific understanding into metrics of performance and cost of implementation under real-world conditions, is a logical step in the challenging progression from fundamental research to application. Demonstration reduces scientific uncertainty and validates the hypothesis that a management approach is both effective and financially sustainable. Much like adaptive management, demonstration enables researchers and resource managers to avoid trial-and-error approaches and instead conduct unbiased assessment of management interventions. The participation of end users and regulators in the development and execution of demonstration projects ensures that performance measures are credible and increases the probability that successful innovations will be adopted. Four actions might better connect science to the needs of resource managers via demonstration. First, we recommend that demonstration be conducted as a formal process that documents successes and failures. Second, demonstration should be budgeted as an integral component of government agencies' science programs and executed as a partnership between researchers and managers. Third, public and private funders should increase the opportunities and incentives for academics to engage in demonstration. Fourth, social influences on adoption of new technologies and methods should be further explored. When end users can evaluate explicitly whether a new approach is likely to achieve management objectives, save money, and reduce risk under uncertainty, the professional community successfully has bridged a chasm between research and application. © Journal compilation. © 2009 Society for Conservation Biology.

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